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History of the Olympics Games

Updated on August 12, 2016

Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin; The Father of Modern Olympics

This Picture is from Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution
This Picture is from Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution | Source

Who is the Father of the Modern Olympics?

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics is the latest edition of the Olympics and is currently taking place in Brazil, but what is the History of the modern Olympics?

The idea behind the Modern Olympics is drawn from the Greeks Ancient Olympics. But it was Frenchman Pierre de Fr├ędy, Baron de Coubertin, the Father of the modern Olympics who executed the idea and made it possible for the world to witness the first edition of the Games of the Olympiad in 1896, Athens Greece; the home of Olympics.

We say in Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, the host nation athlete were the last on the Olympics Parade of nations, this started at the 1928 Olympics held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. From then during the opening ceremony of any Olympics Games, the Greece Athletes are the first in the Athletes parade, while the host of the Olympics Athletes are the last on any of the Olympics Games Opening Ceremony since 1928 Olympics

The father of the modern Olympics; Baron de Coubertin was a French historian, educationist and an aristocrat. He started the current International Olympics Committee which oversees all the Olympics Games. Baron de Coubertin lived from January 1, 1863 to September 2, 1937 and was the second president of the International Olympics Committee from 1896 to 1925. Baron de Coubertin founded the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in the year 1894, when he was only 31 years old.

Initially there was only one type of Olympics Games but as time moved on there has been major changes in the games with the introduction of the Winter Olympics in the year 1924 in Chamonix, France and has been held consistently except for the Second World war years of 1940 and 1944.

Another notable progress has been the Paralympics which are held immediately after the Summer Olympics. The Paralympics have been held since the first Paralympics held in Great Britain by war veterans in 1948 and has grown to be the largest disabled multi-sporting event in the world. There will be Rio 2016 Paralympics immediately after the Summer Olympics.

The latest inclusion to the Olympics Family is the Youth Olympics. The Youth Olympics was first held in the year 2010 in Singapore. The Youth Olympics has summer and winter variants.

The Early Summer Olympics Editions

Rio 2016 Summer Olympics is the 31st edition of the Games and that is why the official name of the Rio 2016 is The Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Below is a chronology of the initial Olympics Games with the Rio 2016 Olympics being the latest.

Two years after the formation of IOC, the first modern Olympics took place at the birth place of Ancient Olympics, Athens Greece.

The 1896 Olympics held in Athens and is formally known as the Games of I Olympiad. The Opening Ceremony of the 1896 Olympics was held on the 6th of April and the Closing Ceremony was on the 15th April at the official 1896 Olympics Stadium, Panathenaic Stadium. The 1896 Olympics Games were officially opened by King George 1 Greece, becoming the first head of state to open a modern Olympic event. 14 nations participated in the 1896 Olympics games, all the nations were from Europe except for Chile and USA. The 1896 Olympics Games had 241 participants, all men who competed in 43 events of 9 sports.

The second edition of the Olympics games was held in 1900 in Paris. The venue for the 1900 Olympics had been decided in 1895 by Baron de Coubertin. The opening ceremony for the 1900 Paris Olympics was on the 14th of May and the closing ceremony was on the 28th October 1900. The 1900 Olympics saw participating nations increase from the initial 14 to by a factor of ten to 24 nations and also the sports grew by a factor of 10 from the 1896 Olympics 9 sports to 19 sports of 95 events. Women also participated for the first time in an Olympics event.

Four years later, after the 1900 Olympics Games, the Games of the III Olympiad were held in St Louis in USA. Only 12 nations managed to participate in the 1904 Olympics. The games were officially opened by David Rowland Francis who was the 20th USA secretary of Interior. The official stadium for the 1904 Olympics games was Francis Field, a track of land given as Christmas gift by David Rowland Francis. The opening ceremony was held on 1st July and the games closed on the 23rd November, with 651 participants competing in 91 events of 17 sports.

The 1908 Olympics were held in London England. This was the first time London held the Olympics and would do the same in the year 1948 and the coming 2012 London Olympics. The games were held between 27th April to 31st October with 2008 participants who included 37 women and 1,971 men. The 1908 Olympics had 22 nations participating in 110 Events of 22 sports. The 1908 Olympics games were opened by King Edward VII of UK at the White City Stadium.

The 1912 Olympics were to be the last Olympics before the 1st World war and the world would not experience another Olympics games until in 1920. The intended 1916 Olympics would be shelved as world nations fought each other. The 1912 Olympics were held in held in Stockholm, Sweden. The Olympics games of the 1912 were officially known as the Games of the V Olympiads and had

The opening ceremony for the 1912 Olympics was on the 5th of May and the closing ceremony was on the 27th of July 1912. The games were officially opened by Gustaf V, the King of Sweden at the newly built Stockholms Olympiastadion. The 1912 Olympics saw 28 nations participating in 102 events of 14 sports. There were 2,406 participants made up by 47 women and 2,359 men.

Two years after Second World War, the Games of the VII Olympiads were held in 1920. The 1920 Olympics were held in Antwerp, Belgium from the 20th of April to the 12th of September. The 1920 Olympics were officially opened by King Albert I of Belgium and had 29 nations competing in 154 events of 22 sports that featured in the 1920 Olympics Games. The Olympics of the 1920 saw 65 women participate, with the rest of 2561 participants being men. Germany did not receive and invitation to these games and hence did not participate.

The 1924 Olympics made Paris become the first city to host the Olympics twice. The games were held between 4th of May to 27th of July and were officially opened by then the president of France Gaston Doumergue at the Stadium Stade Olympique in Yves-du-Manoir. 3089 competitors from 44 nations fought for medals in 126 events of 17 sports. The 1924 Olympics saw 135 women participate.

The 1928 Olympics were held in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. They were the first Olympics to be held in 16 days contrary to the previous Olympics which at times took months. They were also the first Olympics to have symbolic fire made.


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